The Harlem we knew in the 80’s isn’t the same we know today and by the next decade it may be unrecognizable. No, we’re not talking about social and economic gentrification. We’re referring to Barbershop Books. It is a non profit, based in Harlem, that’s turning barbershops into reading centers for young boys ages 4-8. Barbershop Books is in 12 barbershops in Harlem in 110 nationwide.
This is big.
It will transform the psyche of boys who once saw the barbershop as a place for illicit or idle activity. It will transform society’s perception of black boys’ academic capability. Without even mentioning the boost it will give to boys’ literacy skills, let’s reflect on the positive impact it will have on their confidence levels and source of inspiration. For every Barbershop Books that opens in the future, there will be potentially one less case of petty crime brought before the judge. For every sticker that’s given to a reader in Barbershop Books, there’ll be a boy who feels worthy and capable of building a bridge, raising a family or simply just being.